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Nets host tanking Grizzlies

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Memphis Grizzlies v Washington Wizards Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The tank rolled through Brooklyn. Mark Cuban has been pretty open about wanting the Dallas Mavericks to tank, so when Harrison Barnes was ruled out of Saturday's game, their chances of getting an L went up dramatically. The Brooklyn Nets were more than happy to help the cause as they beat the Mavs by eight on Saturday night. You take every W you can get.

The opponent tonight will be the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s been a long, long season for the Grizzlies as things have gone completely haywire for them. Going into Saturday’s game against the Nuggets, they had lost 19 (yes, 19) straight games. But they were able to put together a great performance and snapped the streak with a seven-point victory. They needed that win in the worst way. Now, with a tight tanking race, they need the loss. They’re a game behind (ahead?) of the Suns for worst record ... and a 25 percent chance at the top overall pick.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7:30.

Injuries

Dante Cunningham is in the concussion protocol and will be out for this one. Allen Crabbe has been under the weather the past few days, he’s probable for this one. Isaiah Whitehead is in Long Island, as least for now.

Andrew Harrison is dealing with a wrist injury and he’ll likely miss this game.

The game

Brooklyn won the first meeting in November. Grizz head coach David Fizdale was fired the very next day.

DeMarre Carroll has been a tremendous positive influence in the locker room and on the court. He had to pick up the rebounding slack when Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was out, and was able to do so. His acquisition will pay dividends in the short and long term for Brooklyn.

Things look so much differently when a left-handed point guard that was a lottery pick from Ohio State is on the floor. I'm talking about D'Angelo Russell, but I'm also talking about Mike Conley. Conley is the one player that powers everything for Memphis and his absence has been felt profoundly. When he comes back next year, the Grizz should be much better. As for Russell, the three-pointer has been flowing for him recently. DLo has made 17 threes over his last four games and when he's able to consistently hit shots from deep, it opens everything up for him. The turnovers are still too high, but you can work around that.

The Grizzlies play at the league's slowest pace and are fourth in turnover rate. That's an incredibly dangerous mix and the Nets should be able to take advantage of this and score a bunch of points in transition.

Player to watch: Marc Gasol

It’s been a bumpy year for Gasol. After Fizdale was fired, all eyes were on him as the person that got him fired. His name was frequently on the trade market leading up to the deadline, but nothing ultimately came of it as he stayed in Memphis. On the court, it hasn't been much better. He's taking a lot more three pointers than usual, and that's caused his overall field goal percentage to go down. He still does a lot of other things well.

Jarrett Allen will look to keep Gasol off the boards. Gasol is top 20 in rebounds per game and if he can control the glass, he'll help Memphis control the pace of the game. We're probably gonna get another Jahlil Okafor sighting tonight as well. With Cunningham sidelined, his minutes are there for the taking and Okafor ought to get a nice sized run with the second unit.

From the Vault

I saw that "Return of the Mack" turned 22 yesterday. If you need to get up and jam right quick as the work week begins, I've got you.

More reading: Grizzly Bear Blues